Founded in 1980, the National Network of Grantmakers (NNG) is an organization of approximately 400 individuals — including board members, foundation staff, and grantmaking committee members — who use the network of organized philanthropy to direct funding toward leftist groups that profess a commitment to political, environmental, economic, and social justice. In its “Mission Statement,” NNG declares that it works “for systemic change in the U.S. and abroad, in order to create an equitable distribution of wealth and power, and mutual respect for all peoples.”
Viewing the United States as a nation whose hallmarks are inequity, bigotry, and a lust for empire, NNG states that it:
(a) “shares a vision of a world that celebrates diversity and supports self-determination for all peoples.”
(b) “works … to eliminate discrimination and oppression based on age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation and to restore the health of the planet for future generations.”
To buttress its claim that racism touches every crucial aspect of American life, in September 2006 NNG featured on its website a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation titled: “Race Matters: Unequal Opportunity Within Criminal Justice.” This study concluded that the U.S. justice system is rife with “embedded racial inequities” that “work against women and men of color”; “racial stereotyping and discrimination”; “disproportionality at every step of the criminal justice process”; “statutory biases”; “poverty’s interaction with race in criminal defense”; “disproportionate imprisonment”; “differential post-release consequences”; “disparate impact on families and children”; and “disparate impact on neighborhoods.”
In 2005, NNG published a research paper titled “Pursuing Racial Equity Through Civic Engagement & Mass Media,” which asserted that “racial disparities in the United States with respect to education, income, and health/ environment [cause] people of color [to] fare, on the whole, worse than Whites in obtaining a share of resources that many of us would consider basic human needs.” The report laments the “barriers to voting experienced by the following populations: disenfranchised people of color, especially African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives; and youth of color.” It further states: “Centuries of genocide, attempted subjugation, and racial and cultural oppression continue to play out today in significant social, economic, health, and educational disparities for all indigenous peoples … North America’s indigenous peoples experience higher national rates of suicide, homicide, accidental death, domestic violence, child abuse, and alcoholism.”
NNG Executive Director Ron McKinley sits on the Boards of Funding Exchange and the Headwaters Foundation for Justice; chairs the Inclusive Practices Committee of the Council on Foundations; and serves as a Senior Program Officer for the Minneapolis Foundation. He formerly chaired the Race & Diversity Task Force of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
The NNG Board of Directors consists of representatives from the Arca Foundation, the Astraea Lesbian Action Foundation, the Bert and Mary Meyer Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Fund, the Fonda Family Foundation, the French American Charitable Trust, Funding Exchange, the Headwaters Fund and Foundation for Justice, the Marguerite Foundation, the McKay Foundation, the Peace Development Fund, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Seventh Generation Fund, Territory Resource, the Third Wave Foundation, the Tides Foundation, and the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program.
NNG’s member working groups include:
(a) the Donors’ Organizers’ Network (which steers wealthy donors toward funding leftist “social change” campaigns).
(b) Funders Who Fund in the South (which makes funds available to minority organizations).
(c) Funders who Fund in Indian Country (which makes funds available to “indigenous peoples”).
(d) Grantmakers Without Borders (a Tides Center project that advocates “global justice” and international social change).
(e) the Working Group on Funding Media (which promotes leftist views in the mass media).
(f) Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues.